National Museum of Denmark

Copenhagen, Denmark

The National Museum of Denmark (Nationalmuseet) is Denmark’s largest museum of cultural history, comprising the histories of Danish and foreign cultures, alike. The museum's main domicile is located a short distance from Strøget. It contains exhibits from around the world, from Greenland to South America.

The museum has a number of national commitments, particularly within the following key areas: archaeology, ethnology,numismatics, ethnography, natural science, conservation, communication, building antiquarian activities in connection with the churches of Denmark as well as the handling of the Danefæ (the National Treasures).

The museum covers 14,000 years of Danish history, from the reindeer-hunters of the Ice Age, Vikings and works of art created in praise of God in the Middle Ages, when the church played a huge role in Danish life. Danish coins from Viking times to the present and coins from ancientRome and Greece, as well as examples of the coinage and currencies of other cultures are exhibited also. Furthermore the National Museum keeps Denmark’s largest and most varied collection of objects from the ancient cultures of Greece and Italy, the Near East and Egypt. For example, it holds a collection of objects that were retrieved during the Danish excavation of Tell Shemshara in Iraq in 1957. In addition to this, there are exhibits about who the Danish people are and were, stories of everyday life and special occasions, stories of the Danish state and nation, but most of all stories of different people’s lives in Denmark from 1560 to 2000.



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Category: Museums in Denmark


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

J Page (3 months ago)
I went there looking for souvenirs but when I spoke with the greeting I was quite interested in spending time seeing the displays. You can spend a day or less if you pick specific sections to view. Beautiful way to display history. I highly recommend taking time to see this museum. You will not be disappointed!
Max Venmore-Rowland (3 months ago)
Simply brilliant museum. Starting from stone age the museum takes you through key stages of the development of danish people's. It was excellent. Easy to follow and very logical. The Viking section was also good with loads of info as well as a huge longship. The Viking raid was atmospheric but I felt it over long and could have been sharper. Cafe good too
Svava Ósk (4 months ago)
Beautiful and well managed museum. Absolutely one of my all-time favourites. Ended up spending two days with a total of 8 hours (5 hours the first day and 3 hours the second day) just to see everything. Fairly priced and happy to pay twice for such an amazing experience. Not too many people and fairly quiet, which is always appreciated. Grab a map and try to follow it so you don't miss out - it's easy to get lost. We could have easily spent two whole days here. Really the only thing that we could point out is that the air was heavy and hot in most floors so grab a water bottle with you and be prepared to need a break just to catch your breath properly again.
Samantha Decker (4 months ago)
Educational about all aspects of Danish history and culture, including daily life, arts, culture, religion, government, and war. Informative, easy to explore in whatever level of detail you want. Friendly employees, and graphically very cool. Only small thing, wish there were more historical maps of Denmark, for those that don't know the names of the different regions of it! Otherwise great
Cristian Garcia (6 months ago)
Tremendous experience really. We were here for over 2 hours, traveling along the history of beautiful Denmark and learning about its legends, people, and early days. We also went to the third floor to experience the history of the viking peoples, which was nothing but incredible. I wish we could've been here longer, each floor is really vast and the exhibitions are well documented and narrated. You could easily spend the whole day learning about Denmark and time would fly.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.